Why I’ll Never Use The Last Paper Towel

(Topic: Grief Triggers, pregnancy, stillbirth)

honestly even this picture is uncomfortable for me

Hi Friends,

This is a story I alluded to recently, when I talked about why my posts aren’t always posted exactly on schedule.

I mentioned various triggers, one of which was empty paper towel tubes. That one isn’t obvious to most people, since it’s based very specifically on an experience I had shortly after Charlie died.

During my pregnancy, we were part of a birth class that sometimes had some hands on suggestions and items. One of the things that was suggested was to find something tube shaped (like a toilet paper roll) and to use it to listen to the baby’s heartbeat – and to decorate it, if you wanted!

I instantly decided that a toilet paper roll tube was too easy to find and too flimsy. I built a fantastic crazy giant “stethoscope” from industrial supplies, but I made it too complex and too big, and it didn’t actually end up working. Husband’s actual stethoscope did, but wasn’t exciting. We left it at that.

Note that we have paper towels in our house but use them so rarely, and use them up so slowly, that we almost never have empty tubes.

Sometime during the week after Charlie died or maybe the week after the funeral, we ran out of paper towels in the kitchen, and I – without thinking – thought it would be perfect for listening to the baby’s heartbeat and that we should try it!

     Then it hit me.

I walked out of the kitchen in tears, holding the empty tube, and had to try to explain to Hubby what had gone through my mind.

My gut still lurches anytime I see an empty roll – even if it’s in the trash at some business where I’m just using the restroom, even if I’m not the one using it up – just the sight of it.

We still have paper towels in the kitchen, and we still rarely use them and rarely have empty tubes… but every time, it’s hard for me. Over the last 2 years I’ve tried to never be the one to use them up.

Lately, someone smart suggested to me that recycling the roll with one or two towels still left on it would hardly hurt anything.

From now on, the last paper towel just won’t get used.



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